Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, December 9, 2016

Yes And No

The argument that Trump can be popular by divorcing himself from his own policies is an...interesting one.  Presidents get blamed for everything.  They get blamed for the weather.

The Trump Two Step is legitimately a thing.  Trump is adept at changing the subject from poor policy decisions by doing or saying something outrageous.  When a truly troubling story comes out, he quickly does something like insult the cast of Hamilton or pick a fight with some average citizen.  And the press - like the freaking morons that they are - follow the shiny object of the latest Tweet and lose the thread of what's really important.

However...Trump's policies are objectively bad ones.  He might get a short term bounce out of some of them, but they are mostly crappy and unpopular ideas.  If Paul Ryan tries to privatize Medicare or Tom Price shuts down ACA or there is massive fraud in the infrastructure projects or there is an oil spill that the EPA ignores...that will accrue to the President.

Also, some of the ideas that Trump really does seem to care about - notably trade - are also objectively bad ideas.  Rumors of a 45% tariff on Chinese goods?  That's a colossally bad idea. Same with withdrawing from NAFTA.  If tens of thousands of people start losing their jobs AND the price of many consumer goods goes up, then Trump won't be able to distract the masses with a Twitter fight with Lady Gaga.

Increasingly though, the key to surviving Trump is allowing him to pick these trade fights, while opposing rollbacks of important programs domestically, then reaping an electoral harvest in 2018 that will allow them to investigate what is sure to be massive levels of corruption.

Two things to remember about this election.  First, Democrats won a bunch more votes.  Second, Trump voters are fickle and likely to stay home or flip back to Democrats if they feel betrayed.  This isn't the hardcore Teanderthals I'm talking about, but those counties that went from being 60-40 Romney to 80-20 Trump.

No comments: